Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Weekending

This weekend was a pretty good one considering I was still sick (and I still am). We had a lot of progress on our kitchen this weekend, went to two parties and snuggled by the fire.

My weekend started Thursday evening since we had Friday off for Nevada Day. So after work, we headed home to get the girls ready for their grandparents to come over. Rory and I had a get together to go to for his softball team taking first place. I was feeling a little better after being on antibiotics for 36 hours, so I went. We had Mexican food followed by beers at a beer bar. We had never been to this beer bar and it was so much fun. I only had a beer, but it was a cream ale on nitro draft and it was heavenly.
painting pumpkins
 The girls painted pumpkins at daycare last week
painting pumpkins

Friday morning we had a meeting with our contractor to go over the progress and an issue that came about. We fed the girls breakfast in their rooms and waited. Our contractor told us that we needed to move all of our cabinets up several inches OR just the one above the stove because they were too low for our new range hood. We went back and forth on our options and decided to just move the cabinet above the stove up. But now we have to add crown modeling and figure some other stuff out. It never seems to end with renovation issues. I feel like we are in the middle of an episode of Fixer Upper or Property Brothers.
toddler fun
The girls playing on their toy box while waiting for our contractor to arrive

After our meeting, we took the girls up to their grandparents house, so we could grab lunch and run some errands. We needed to get the girls' sweaters for our family photos, some paint supplies for a side project in regards to our kitchen renovation, we voted and made an exchange at Loft.

After our errands, we headed back up to my in-laws house for an early dinner. After dinner, I headed out to my friends house for her Wild West Murder Mystery party. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to go, but was so glad I had the energy for it.
Wild West Murder Mystery Party
 Wild West Murder Mystery Party
Wild West Murder Mystery Party
 The cutest bear pants
Wild West Murder Mystery Party
 Keeping it classy (I only had a glass out of this bottle)
Wild West Murder Mystery Party
The crew

Saturday morning we slept in and it was glorious. We went out to breakfast at BJs (a barbecue place) and then took a drive around the city to see the changing trees and kill some time. Our counter top guys came over after breakfast and installed our new counter tops. Progress!!! After the girls' nap time we headed up to my in-laws house for dinner....vegetable soup and it was soooo good and just what the doctor had ordered. We had mini bundt cakes for dessert and it was the perfect cap to the evening.

Sunday morning we went out to breakfast again and then dropped the girls off, at you guessed it, my in-laws house. That seems to be a theme since we started our renovations. Rory and I headed out to get some paint and then went home to do our project in the kitchen (best way to save money during a renovation is do demo and small projects like painting). That took several hours, but we managed to get it done and get to my in-laws house by 2:30.

We picked the girls up and headed home to build a fire, run to the grocery store and snuggle by the fire. It was raining all day and we were exhausted from painting.

We played most of the afternoon between watching football. That evening we gave the girls their baths and prepped for the week ahead (laundry, packing daycare stuff, packing lunches, etc.). We ordered in some pizza (no kitchen = takeout) and watched Everest. The movie was really good and pretty intense. 

We settled in for bed and Avery started coughing a lot. She ended up crying for about an hour and kept everyone in the house up except Sutton. My cold had lessened so much, but I feel like it came back a little today. The lack of sleep last night ruined it. Let's hope for a more peaceful night of sleep after trick or treating tonight.

Happy Halloween! 

I hope you had a great weekend.

I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and I am off today. Oh thank you Nevada Day!

Let's cross our fingers that I am still asleep and I can stay asleep until 7 am when our contractor and crew come over.

ONE. I am sure many of you have already seen this, but I can't wait until Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life comes out. Ladies, we have less than a month and the trailer looks sooooo good. I even spotted Jess in there. I.CAN'T.WAIT.

TWO. We had family photos scheduled for today, but the weather is rainy and I am still sick. So we have another week to prep for it. I finally got our "look" down. I just need to purchase the girls sweaters and we are all set. Here is a sneak peak.
Family Photo Attire

Mom (Shirt, Boots) Twins (Shirt, Pants, Boots 1, Boots 2)

THREE. Can this election be over please? I really want to go back to liking some of my friends and not having to see politics all over my FB and IG. Thank you.

FOUR. I saw on Simply Annie's blog the cutest washcloth. It is an animal that you add soap to and use it to wash your child with. And they can even play with it. It is machine washable and so cute. I can't wait to snag two of these for my girls.

FIVE. Even though I am still sick, we went out last night. I was feeling a lot better after being on antibiotics for 36 hours and we were celebrating my husband's softball teams 1st place finish (for the season). Plus I knew I would be able to sleep in today and that made it all the better.

BONUS. We are SUPPOSED to get our counter tops in tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited. That means the sink, dish washer and oven can go in next week. I am really hoping they will have the back splash by mid next week so we can have everything done by next Friday or the Monday after. Fingers crossed. I have been dreaming of these counter tops FOREVER and I hope they do not disappoint. Stay tuned for another reno update.

I am linking up with Karli, April and Erica.
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Confessional Thursday

It's time for some confessions. So sit back, relax and enjoy. And if you feel like linking up, grab the button, confess and come back here.
grab button for Sparkles and Lattes
<div class="sparkles-and-lattes-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Sparkles and Lattes" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

/ that I hate being sick. And that it isn't fair to be sick when you have kids. Mommies and daddies shouldn't get sick because they can't take care of their littles to the best of their ability.

/ that I wrote this post yesterday morning, so hopefully I am on antibiotics (I hate having to resort to them) and on the mend.

/ that when I come home for the day and not much work was done on the renovations, I curse silently in my head because I wanted to stay home today.

/ that I closed my eyes and asked the nurse not to tell me my weight at the doctor's office. I hate their scales and don't want to feel worse. I workout, I feel pretty good about myself and that is all that matters. Numbers don't.

/ that I have one and a half episodes of Gilmore Girls left and I don't want it to end even though season 7 hasn't been that great. I love this show and will miss it. Good thing the Year in the Life of starts in less than a month.

/ that I am super bummed about postponing our family pictures. I am too sick to be outside and I am sure I look really miserable which doesn't make for cute family photos. A red nose is not the look I am going for.

/ that I really want a big bowl of tomato soup and grilled cheese. Yum. I love comfort food when I am sick.

/ that I had some working mom guilt Tuesday. I stopped in to see my girls and drop something off at daycare mid morning and they were painting their pumpkins (or getting ready to). Avery jumped off her chair, ran up to me and said mom, look. I scooped her up, she gave me a hug and then I helped her back into her chair. Sutton was showing me her pumpkin and it made me feel like I was missing out on their craft fun. I need to step my crafting game up and do more painting/drawing/coloring/crafting with my girls on the weekends. Any suggestions on toddler friendly crafts for 22 month olds?

/ that I can't wait to see my girls in their costumes on Monday! They are going to be the cutest donuts there EVER was. What are your kids going to be for Halloween?

And that's all my brain can muster. Happy Thursday All!
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

DIY - How to Whitewash a Brick Wall

A few weekends ago we decided to whitewash our brick wall in our kitchen. We originally had plans to take part of this brick wall out, but after talking to our contractor, we decided against it. It would be very costly (thousands of dollars) and time consuming.

I had done some research and decided that we should try whitewashing it. After talking to our contractor about it, we decided that it was a project that Rory and I could complete ourselves and save some money on our kitchen remodel.

The process seemed pretty easy from my research and it was exactly that. Pretty easy.

What You Need:
Paint Brush(es)
Large Sponge
White Paint (Behr Premium Plus Ultra)
Paint Cup/Bucket
Painters Tape
Drop Cloth/Painters Paper
Cheesecloth/Clean Rag
Step Stool (optional)


Since we were replacing our flooring in our kitchen, we were not too concerned with the floors getting paint on them. We did put down some painters paper with tape and then put a drop cloth over that. We took out our refrigerator and put painters paper around our microwave.

We also spent the day before filling in the holes from the previous owners and some of our own. Lowes recommended that we put a cement caulk in the holes and then put grinded brick flakes on top of that. I didn't have much to do with this process, but my husband got it done fairly quickly.

Once we were ready to paint, I used cheesecloth to wipe down the wall of any excess dust or spider webs.
Whitewashing a brick wall
Whitewashing a brick wall

We mixed half water and half paint for our first coat. I used a red solo cup and measured out a cup of water and drew a line on the cup to designate the 1 cup mark. Then I added 1 cup of water and 1 cup of paint to my painters cup. I used the stir stick that we got with the paint to mix it up. Make sure it is mixed well. You will want to mix it several times during your painting.

From there, we started painting strokes left to right, right to left. Be sure to have a sponge on hand as you will want to wipe the excess paint drips. You will want to move quickly as the paint will dry pretty fast. You will also want to make sure you got the grouted areas. Sometimes you need to paint the grouted areas as swiping the brush back and forth will miss those areas.

We finished the first coat in about an hour and a half.
Whitewashing a brick wall - 1st coat
After 1st coat
Whitewashing a brick wall - 1st coat

We loved the look after the first coat, but felt like we wanted to cover a little more of the red brick to match our proposed renovations. We waited for about 30 minutes in between coats to let it dry and make sure we wanted to proceed with another coat.

For the second coat, we used the same half and half mixture, but some say 2/3 water to 1/3 paint. We did add water to the second coat as we went so that the paint mixture stayed watery (but not much). The second coat took about an hour and we were very happy with our results.
Whitewashing a brick wall - 2nd coat
 2nd coat - much better
Whitewashing a brick wall - 2nd coat
Whitewashing a brick wall - 2nd coat
Whitewashing a brick wall - 2nd coat

As you can see, there is still some red that shows through and it added so much light to the room. We love this wall and our contractor was really impressed with how it turned out.

Paint - $33
Large Sponge - $2

Total $35

* We had everything else on hand from other paint projects.

Since we finished the wall, we have our new floors in and the kitchen has been gutted. I can't wait to share the next part of the remodel with you all. Stayed tuned.

I am linking up with Jenn and Jessi.
How to whitewash a brick wall

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

European Trip Part 5

I figured it was time to finish my European trip recaps, so I am here for the final installment: Gibraltar. You can find parts 1 through four here, here, here and here.

I had never been to Gibraltar, but heard it was pretty amazing. The flight in was pretty cool as I found out that they close down the road to let planes fly in and out. And there is a cemetery right next to the runway since they don't have much space for one in the country. Gibraltar is tiny, but full of so much history. If you know anything about Gibraltar, then you know that the country mostly consists of a large rock with swiss cheese like holes in it. These holes were used throughout many wars.

We arrived on Sunday September 18th in the afternoon. After taking a short taxi ride to our hotel, we settled in and I hit the uber small and awfully hot gym. The gym overlooked the pool and I would have much rather been there than in the gym. After a good run, I showered and got ready to walk with my co-worker to dinner.

We headed to Raj's Curry House for some amazing Indian food. Seriously soooo good and cheap. After dinner, we walked around a bit. We went through their main drag (shops and restaurants) all the way to their center square area.
Gibraltar Hesse's Demi Bastion

After walking off our Indian food, we headed back to the hotel. Since my hotel room had about 8 channels and most of them were British or soccer, I decided to hang out in the bar downstairs with a glass of wine and people watched. So many interesting people came through the bar and lobby.

Monday morning we met up for breakfast and it wasn't that great, so I walked across the street for a large latte and called that breakfast. We worked all day and then walked back from the office.

Side note: there is a barrier wall in the middle of Gibraltar and we had to get some directions on areas you could walk up the stairs so we didn't have to walk to the end (almost the entire country) just to make our way all the way back.

We stopped in a beautiful park which is one of the only areas that has green grass on it.
Gibraltar park

Since we had the evening off, we decided to go on the Rock of Gibraltar tour. My co-worker had been on it, but I had never been. So we took the group shuttle up the rock and made four stops. The first was a beautiful look out.
Rock of Gibraltar tour
 That is Spain across the way
Rock of Gibraltar tour
Rock of Gibraltar tour

Next, we headed up to the caves. These caves were used in many wars and now is the area where you can have concerts, weddings and events.
Rock of Gibraltar tour caves
 The caves with amphitheater seating
Rock of Gibraltar tour caves
Rock of Gibraltar tour caves
Rock of Gibraltar tour caves

On the way out of the caves and back to our shuttle, we saw this guy hanging out on the stairs.

There are monkeys all over the Rock of Gibraltar. We were told to not bring food on the trip, to not touch the monkeys and to keep our belongings close to us. They love to steal food, purses and backpacks.

We got back in the shuttle and headed to the top lookout point. There were a ton of monkeys here and  the views were beyond gorgeous. My co-worker had a monkey jump on his back at the very top.
Rock of Gibraltar tour monkeys
Rock of Gibraltar tour Morocco
 Looking out towards Morocco
Rock of Gibraltar tour Morocco and Egypt
 Looking out towards Morocco and Egypt
Rock of Gibraltar tour Morocco and Egypt
Rock of Gibraltar tour monkeys
Rock of Gibraltar tour monkeys

We got back in our shuttle and headed to the last stop, the tunnels. These tunnels were also used during the war and overlook the airport runway and Spain.
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
 View from a lookout point
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
 The tunnels go way down
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
 Spain and the airport runway
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels

We got back in the shuttle and headed back down to our drop off point. During our shuttle ride, the driver told us a bunch of history on Gibraltar. It was well worth the $25 or so US dollars.

That evening, we went to Paparazzi Cafe and Restaurant for pizza, pasta and beers. We also walked around and grabbed gelato while we were out shopping.

Tuesday morning, I went for a walk to grab coffee and pick up a few last minute gifts for the girls. Then it was time to head to the airport. We had to fly back to London and stay the night as it is hard to get out of two flights a day on British Airways hard.

We got into London and spent 2 1/2 hours going through customs just to get our bags and walk to the Hilton that was connected to the airport. We had the concierges lounge, so we had drinks and appetizers in there before having dinner in the hotel. No many options around. You have food in the airport or your hotel. After dinner, I watched some tv and then headed to their gym for a quick workout.

Wednesday morning, we were up bright and early to meet for breakfast. After breakfast, we got notice that our flight was 3 hours late. So we hung out in our hotel rooms until it was closer to the time to leave. Only to find out our flight ended up being 4 hours and 2 minutes late. Luckily we had a 5 hour layover in San Francisco and we barely made our flight home.

We got home Thursday and it felt great to be home, with my family and not living out of a suitcase. But it was seriously one of the best work trips I had been on....minus the food poisoning.

And there you have it. My European Trip concludes. Now I want to go back and explore even more.
Monday, October 24, 2016


The weekend is over, I am exhausted, sick, but so thankful for a short work week! Hello Nevada Day (Friday)!

We had a pretty busy weekend and it flew by in an instant.

Friday after work, I headed to Wine and Cheeseboard to treat myself to a yummy lunch. You may have seen this on IG. I had the grilled cheese, cup of curried cauliflower soup and a salad that was covered in fruit and nuts. It was soooo good and a great way to start the weekend.
Wine and Cheese Board The Trio

After a quick lunch, I went about a block away to get my hair done. I was able to relax, chat with my friend, have a glass of wine and get my hair fixed. My hair felt amazingly soft that night.

I then headed over to the tile store since the back splash we had picked out was 5 weeks out. I wasn't too keen on any of the samples we received, so I needed another look. Plus I wanted to pair the samples with the sample of my floor tile and my counter tops. The good news is, I found a replacement and it is only a week and a half out!!
Kitchen remodel samples

After the tile store, I headed home to meet with my contractor and crew to see the progress. Let me tell you, it is looking beautiful. The tile is in along with the grout and I am one happy camper about that. My vision is coming together nicely.

Rory and the girls arrived home not much later. I just locked the house up (the area the crew wasn't working in) and we headed up to my in-laws house for dinner. The girls were a bit sassy that evening, but we did manage to have a wonderful night. Avery took full advantage of grandma's dinner.
toddler at the dinner table
toddler at the dinner table - toddler eats

Saturday morning we headed out to breakfast and Costco. We didn't do too much after that as the girls needed their naps and we had some things to do around the house (like winterize our sprinklers). At 3:30, my sister came over to watch the girls while we went to the tailgate and football game. Her boyfriend came over a little later to help out.

We had an amazing time at the tailgate complete with a huge taco bar, but then had an upset at the game. The Pack lost their QB in the second quarter, but it ended up being better for us. Our second string is playing pretty well despite our loss. The game was on ESPN so we got home pretty late (11:30 pm).

Sunday morning we headed out to breakfast and then home so Rory could drop some stuff off at SPCA and another local charity. We donated so many clothes and furniture. Since we are renovating, it is easy to go through stuff and donate. Plus it makes more room for the new furniture we bought.

The girls and I were watching football and they ended up falling asleep in my arms and I enjoyed every second of it. Rory came home to this.
toddler naps

A little while later, we loaded the car up with all of our laundry and headed to my in-laws house. We had a quick bite to eat and then put the girls back down for a longer nap since they didn't nap too long on my lap. We also did a few loads of laundry and watched the awful Niner game. After naps, we took a long walk.

Around 4:30, we left to head home and drop off our laundry and then headed to Rory's cousins house for dinner. We were celebrating Rory's cousins birthday with an amazing spread. The girls dug right in!

Eating dinner with their cousin

We capped off the evening with some football and New York cheesecake! The girls even stayed up until 8 pm at their cousins house.

We headed home shortly later to get the girls ready for bedtime and get all of their stuff ready for the week. We watched some tv and fell asleep pretty early.

A few hours later, I woke up to check on Sutton (she has a cough) and I had the worst sore throat. Like razor blades cutting my throat. Needless to say, my body is ran down and I need to take it easy the next few days. But overall, we had the best weekend.

How was your weekend?

I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.